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Solid State Phased Array Radar System

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Title: Solid State Phased Array Radar System  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: United States Missile Defense, Space Surveillance Telescope, Sea-based X-band Radar, Space Tracking and Surveillance System, Air Force Space Command
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Solid State Phased Array Radar System

Coverage of the original PAVE PAWS and BMEWS systems, later upgraded to SSPARS and eventually to UEWR

The Solid State Phased Array Radar System[2] (SSPARS, colloquially "BMEWS radar network'" as late as 2004)[3] is a USAF radar, computer, and communications system for missile warning and space surveillance "at five (5) geographically separated units worldwide including Beale AFB, CA, Cape Cod, AFS, MA, Clear AFS, AK, RAF Fylingdales, UK, and Thule AB, Greenland."[4] SSPARS completed replacement of the RCA 474L Ballistic Missile Early Warning System when the last SSPAR (phased array radar with 2500 "solid state transmitter" modules)[5] was operational at Clear in 2001,[2] the year SSPARS equipment included:

  • Raytheon AN/FPS-123 PAVE PAWS Radar[6] at Beale (FPS-115 IOC April 4, 1980) and Cape Cod (FPS-115 IOC August 15, 1980)[7]
  • Raytheon AN/FPS-120 Solid State Phased Array Radar at Thule ("2QFY87")[8] with greater radar capabilities than the FPS-115 PAVE PAWS radars
  • Raytheon AN/FPS-126 Solid State Phased Array Radar at Fylingdales with three faces for 360 degree coverage (constructed August 1989-October 1992).[9]
  • Raytheon AN/FPS-120[10] Solid State Phased Array Radar using an older antenna from the 1987 PAVE PAWS EWR in Texas (groundbreaking April 16, 1998,[10] for the "Clear Radar Upgrade")[11]

After the Fylingdales BMEWS radars had been replaced by Raytheon/Cossor AeroSpace and Control Data Corporation (embedded CDC-Cyber computer) at a cost of US $100M, in February 1995 the "missile warning center at Cheyenne Mountain AS [was] undergoing a $450 million upgrade program".[12] The entire SSPARS became operational on January 31, 2001 when the "SSPARS Site" at Clear AFS (separate from the BMEWS site) had Initial Operational Capability.[13] The Clear AN/FPS-120 was subsequently "upgraded to the AN/FPS-123 model" SSPA Radar,[14] and the SSPARS was modified in the Early Warning Radar Service Life Extension Program[2] The US approved sale of an AN/FPS-115 to Taiwan in 2000 [1] and it was introduced in 2006.[2]

AN/FPS-132 Upgraded Early Warning Radar

The AN/FPS-132 Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR) is a series of phased array radar systems used for long-range early warning and space surveillance, operating as part of the United State Missile Defence and Space Surveillance Network.


The Solid State Phased Array Radar System began replacing PAVE PAWS when the first AN/FPS-115 face was taken off-line for the radar upgrade. New [23]), a 2012 ESD/XRX Request for Information for replacement, and remote operation, of the remaining "PAVE PAWS/BMEWS/PARCS systems" at Cape Cod, Alaska, and North Dakota was issued.[24] The Alaska AN/FPS-132 was contracted in fall 2012[25] and the Cape Cod installation in 2013.[26]

System overview




External images


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  17. ^ "...relocation of existing electronic equipment from a decommissioned PAVE PAWS site in Eldorado, Texas, to the newly constructed facility at Clear. By relocating the two 102-foot diameter transmitter/receiver arrays, electronic cabinets and computers"
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